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View Poll Results: What should the quality of public transportation be?
There shouldn't be public transportation 10 15.87%
Bare bones 0 0%
High enough to keep the people who truly need it using it 2 3.17%
Sufficient in a pinch 1 1.59%
Adequate 0 0%
Reliable 4 6.35%
Better than expected 1 1.59%
Good 8 12.70%
Excellent 22 34.92%
Meets all my standards, and exceeds them. 15 23.81%
Voters: 63. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-15-2013, 08:59 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
The D.C. metro suffers badly from a lack of express lines. And it's a hub-and-spoke system in an area where a majority of commuting is rim-to-rim.
could the maryland purple line help? Though realistically, mass transit won't be able to help most non-center city commutes unless the density is high.

If you're thinking of express service like NYC's, outside of the city limits, the DC metro stop spacing looks as high or higher than NYC subway express service.*

except for the 8th avenue subway between 59th and 125th street which is 3.5 miles between stops and the Queens Blvd line.

Last edited by nei; 01-15-2013 at 09:26 PM..
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:04 PM
 
Location: White House, TN
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Why take the bus when I can mooch a ride off of someone? I have gas money anyway (:
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:20 PM
 
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Here in Phoenix, Valley Metro eliminated bus transfers a couple of years ago. As a result, passengers pay a full fare for each bus they board. They do offer monthly passes and daily passes, which help, if you use the transit enough to pay for it. Frequency of service is definitely a quality issue. Unfortunately, the bus stops here are on the far side of the intersections, which makes it difficult for riders needing to transfer. Also the lack of bus shelters is a quality issue, especially in the summer heat. Ditto the failure of officials to make sure bus shelter light bulbs are replaced as needed.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:12 PM
 
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Waiting for a bus in Phoenix in summer with no shelter sounds like it approaches hell.

The prevalence of suburb-suburb commutes is definitely challenging for transit agencies. I know that in the DC area there's a major effort going on to shift Tyson's Corner commutes to non-automotive modes, we'll see how well it works. Good bus service can connect to major employment centers like Tyson's Corner or Bethesda. Those types of places can be suburban transit hubs. But it will be a long time before it's financially possible to build suburb-suburb rail, especially when, as Nei said, the intervening densities are low.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
could the maryland purple line help? Though realistically, mass transit won't be able to help most non-center city commutes unless the density is high.
I imagine the purple line would get ridership.

Quote:
If you're thinking of express service like NYC's, outside of the city limits, the DC metro stop spacing looks as high or higher than NYC subway express service.*
Yes, it's in the city that's the problem. I've had occasion to take the Red Line from one end to the other (Silver Spring to Shady Grove at the time) and it takes FOREVER. Obviously that trip would be a purple line candidate.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:09 PM
 
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On the other hand, Southern California has had suburb-suburb commuter rail for some time now.
Metrolink Inland Empire-Orange County Line - Transit Unlimited
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
On the other hand, Southern California has had suburb-suburb commuter rail for some time now.
Metrolink Inland Empire-Orange County Line - Transit Unlimited
Yes, although it needs to run a lot more frequently. It might also be useful if Metrolink ran some of its Union Station trains through onto another line, say Ventura County-Orange Clounty.

What's hard about suburb to suburb trips is that there are so many origins and destinations, few of them very major. Also a lot of office parks and such were built away from the rail lines, so you really need bus connections. But if anyplace is going to make a dent in this I expect it to be Los Angeles. There's already a widespread transit system, and an understanding that transit has to serve more places than just downtown.
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Old 11-12-2013, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Planet Earth
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Well, it depends on the specific location, and factors such as density and ridership. (This should be rather obvious).

Off the top of my head, Suffolk County Transit on Long Island comes to mind as a system that really needs to improve. Its service area is a suburban county, so it's understandable that the frequency is rather low and the lines are fairly spaced out in some areas. But what's inexcusable is the fact that it doesn't run on Sundays (there's two routes that have Sunday service during the summers, and they charge $0.25 more year-round). The service also ends rather early : Only a few routes run past 7PM. For a small-town system, this might be acceptable, but considering that some of the areas along it are relatively dense, and a lot of routes get relatively high ridership, it doesn't make sense.

I also expect the services to run close to schedule, with reasonably maintained vehicles. (And I don't think this is much of an issue overall, but the schedule shouldn't be cut too loose either. By that, I mean the schedule should allow for the vehicle to operate at a normal speed, rather than crawling along the route for no reason).

On a side note, for what it's worth, the system should try to take advantage of whatever technology is out there to improve the customer experience and attract new riders. For instance, it's FREE for a transit agency to upload their schedules to Google Transit, and yet many agencies don't do it. (Offhand, Bee Line in Westchester, and SCT in Suffolk don't do it, and neither does Huntington, WV or many small-town agencies).
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Old 11-12-2013, 06:41 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by checkmatechamp13 View Post
Off the top of my head, Suffolk County Transit on Long Island comes to mind as a system that really needs to improve. Its service area is a suburban county, so it's understandable that the frequency is rather low and the lines are fairly spaced out in some areas. But what's inexcusable is the fact that it doesn't run on Sundays (there's two routes that have Sunday service during the summers, and they charge $0.25 more year-round). The service also ends rather early : Only a few routes run past 7PM. For a small-town system, this might be acceptable, but considering that some of the areas along it are relatively dense, and a lot of routes get relatively high ridership, it doesn't make sense.
Other than the S1, what route gets relatively high ridership? Enough to justify Sunday or evening service? I have trouble seeing how Suffolk Country Transit could do well, destinations are too scattered and density mostly too low.

But yea Suffolk Transit doesn't seem like it's run as a service that normal people might want to use. My local transit agency has added an online bus tracker.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlite View Post
Yes, although it needs to run a lot more frequently. It might also be useful if Metrolink ran some of its Union Station trains through onto another line, say Ventura County-Orange Clounty.

What's hard about suburb to suburb trips is that there are so many origins and destinations, few of them very major. Also a lot of office parks and such were built away from the rail lines, so you really need bus connections. But if anyplace is going to make a dent in this I expect it to be Los Angeles. There's already a widespread transit system, and an understanding that transit has to serve more places than just downtown.
I would like to see preferential treatment for transit. For example, there are usually barriers between office complexes to discourage general traffic. I say allow buses to go through them and shorten trips.
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